The countdown in on for Sydney’s favourite wine and food festival, this year bigger and even more Italian. Everything that’s good about eating and drinking in Italy comes together with the return of the Sydney Italian Wine + Food Festival. Just as the appeal of Italian food runs from street-style pizza-fun for the whole family to fresh-pasta finery for the connoisseur, the festival has food and drink, entertainment and information to suit everyone from spaghetti-loving kids to the most engaged Italian-speaking wine lover.
Australia’s top Italian cooks are turning out in force to make it a day to remember, with MasterChef favourites Giovanni Pilu (Pilu at Freshwater) and Alessandro Pavoni (Ormeggio) leading the charge. Proudly presented by Smeg, the festival is all about celebrating wine, food and culture together in inimitable Italian style. Alongside 250 of Italy’s finest wines (and a great selection of Australian wines made from Italian grapes), there’ll be the chance to shop for salumi, cheese, pasta, bread, gelato, coffee, olive oil, honey, cookbooks and more at our Gourmet Traveller Food Market. Watch our live food demonstrations, including mozzarella by La Stella Latticini, pasta by Pasta Emilia and butter churning by Pepe Saya. The teams from Sydney’s top Italian restaurants (Pilu at Freshwater, Ormeggio, Balla, A Tavola, Aperitivo, Ajo, Osteria Russo + Russo and Capriccio among them) will be cooking up a storm, and there’ll be cooking demonstrations hosted by Joanna Savill and food talks hosted by Roberta Muir with the chefs from the Council of Italian Restaurants in Australia (aka CIRA). Round out the day relaxing in the wine garden listening to the best in Italian jazz played live, or take in an olive oil master class with Nino Zoccali from Pendolino.
You’ll meet winemakers and importers, learn more about Italy’s grape varieties, where they come from, who makes them and (best of all) how good they taste. For Italian wine lovers and trade professionals alike, it’s a chance to delve into the unknown and revisit old favourites. Our Wine Masterclasses presented by Gourmet Traveller WINE are hosted by renowned wine writers Huon Hooke and Max Allen, while sommelier Rocco Esposito hosts Plumm Wine Glass Workshops. Take a tour of the festival with the celebrity chefs from CIRA or one of Sydney’s top Sommeliers depending on your preference. For something a bit stronger, there’s an Espresso Martini Bar from Espresso di Manfredi, a Beer Bar from Menabrea Birra, plus our Negroni Bar is back by popular demand, with Vasco’s Max Greco making cocktails all day! Best of all, this year’s festival runs both night and day, with sessions running till 9pm for lovers of Italian wine and food who like to get busy after the sun goes down. As night falls, some of the city’s younger Italian cooking talents will strut their stuff, and this year we welcome DJ Wildflower to the festival who will be spinning tracks to usher in a very special evening session of wine & food.
Our ‘Tour d’Italia’ Festival Dinner on Monday 31st August will tour Italy’s regions, showcasing the best of Italian food and wine in Australia. Held at Balla at The Star, the dinner will feature CIRA’s Italian chefs cooking a five-course feast, with Balla’s own Stefano Manfredi hosting and Sydney’s top sommeliers selecting their favourite wines.
The Italians say they do it better, Sydney. Are you ready to put them to the test?